Miller Museum Tribute Part II

Paddles and Music in the Air

Photos by UseppaGin

A thank you note from Warren and Paul Miller for last weekend’s Museum Fundraiser held in their honor.

Dear Magnificent Useppans,

Paul and I have just heard how great your response to the fundraiser has been. (Over $130,000 raised). You outdid yourselves, and we are so honored.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So many of you worked so hard to make the evening such a success. To name only a few is all we can do, but just tag your name onto the list and soak up the praise. We worked personally with Rona Stage, Frank Greer, and Bob Stevens – all of whom gathered you together to pull off this remarkable evening. They arranged for our participation via hi-tech machinations that allowed us to dine with you, and watch the auction afterwards. Quite a special evening!

Much love to all,

Warren & Paul

Miller Museum Tribute Part 1

Gratitude in Word & Deed

Raises over $131,000

Part I of II

Friday, March 24th

Photos and Story by UseppaGin

Music, kind words, memories and donations expressed Useppa’s gratitude to long-time homeowners and members Paul and Warren Miller. Hosted by The Useppa Island Historical Society, the tribute in their honor Friday raised over $131,000.

One hundred people dined and danced on the Collier patio, shared Miller stories, and made contributions to add a much needed large room in the Museum for gatherings and exhibits.

Bob Stevens, President of the Useppa Island Historical Society thanked all who made the night a success.  Gala Chairs Stephanie Solien and Frank Greer did the hard work of organizing the affair, and also made it possible for the Millers to watch a live feed of the event from the comfort of their Philadelphia living room.

Island neighbors and friends celebrated two of their own, two people who have always brought out the best in the Useppa community.

Paul and Warren were with us all in spirit for a magical night.

Round the Ragged Key Race

“Stocker – Colgan Blow Competition Away”

Dateline: 03/18/2017 Useppa Island, Florida

Story & Photos by Bill Welch

Curt Stocker and Tony Colgan aboard Ragtime U-5 sailed a flawless race on Pine Island Sound to take line honors in the Inaugural “Round-the-Ragged-Key-Race.”  While doing so, they also broke the time record for how long you can take to sail around the island and still win.

Stocker attributed their success to taking 3 of the 4 purchases out of the peak halyard making it possible to raise their sail.  Colgan explained there were tense moments after they took the lead when both felt the unfamiliar burden of being in front and having to make sure they were going to the right mark.  Finishing in: 1hr 49min 16sec, they were almost an entire leg ahead of the next catboat.  “You don’t get to see a catboat far behind you very often” Stocker shouted to the crowd gathering after beaching Ragtime in front of his cottage.

About 8 minutes behind was Purrfect sailed by a solo Sherry Welch.  Happy to race alone, she sang tunes and soaked up the Sound.  Spirit was 3rd, skippered by Paul Beisswenger and his son Ben as crew.  Disappointed by their finish, they were sure they were moving up on Purrfect and would have easily caught her in another mile or two of racing.  Earlier the fleet was concerned about Paul bringing in a professional sailor.  The rumor was going around they had been up all night tricking out the catboat’s rig.  Next to finish was Little 7-Up skippered by Ray George and Commodore Jim Doherty as crew.  Doherty was also tactician.  In an exclusive interview obtained by our on the scene reporter; Doherty explained, they were waiting for the big left wind shift to come in as predicted by their private meteorologist’ wind prediction service.  Not only was it to go left, but the speed would also pick up, which boiled the race down to who got that shift first.  Well the wind did go left, and they caught it, but it went even lighter.  What made it worse was that they were caught under the wind shadow of Petricio Island.  That pushed them back to an unexpected 4th place.  That’s sailboat racing.  But they both understand there is always next year.

Paul and Shane Swigert were next, as always having a great time just being out on the water.  When crossing the finish line Shane turned to her skipper and shouted, “look Paul, there isn’t a catboat in sight, I think we won.”  Last to come off the water was Laura Stokes (her first time racing one of these complex thoroughbred racing yachts) with Sink ‘R Swim’s owner Gretchen Coyle as crew.  Stokes remarked that these catboaters have a lot of tricks up their sailing shorts and plans to spend time consulting Charlie Chapin about the fine points of racing techniques.  Also out on the water were: Stu Sheldon, Austin Carmichael, and Austin’s great friend Alex Genk manning the mark-safety boat.  And of course, thanks to the staff of Bill’s Grill who had a fantastic feast of burgers and hot dogs on the beach when the hungry sailors returned to shore.

Island Spring 2017

Island Spring

Photos and Thoughts by UseppaGin

Planting orchids, trimming mangroves, playing bocce, relaxing in the hot tub, swimming, lunch on the Collier patio, spending a few nights at the Marina, saying good-bye to a friend…

It’s spring on Useppa


West Wind

When choosing an island home, one of the most important details to consider is your view and the comfort from which you will be able to enjoy it. West Wind entirely exploits its water’s edge location, offering unobstructed northwesterly views toward Boca Grande Pass.

West Wind is a two-story, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home built high on pilings, with command presence. On the ground, you’re 11′ under the first floor, in a vast open area shrouded by tasteful white lattice. Within this area is a large, elevated and enclosed storage room with ramp. A golf cart fits inside with ease offering a healthy amount of remaining space for other items. Astride the storage room is a 40 KW propane generator for emergency backup, which is fed by a 500 gallon outdoor tank. Outside, on the water’s edge is a 15’x35′ heated swimming pool wrapped in Brazilian hardwood decking. Deeded, deep-water dock space is included in the sale. Its dock slip is located at a brand new dock just down the shoreline and can accommodate boats of 42′.

Entering the first living floor, you’re greeted by a large, open living area with waterfront views beyond the numerous French doors as its backdrop. Those doors open up to a large, partially-wrapped, screened patio which features a grilling station complete with a stainless steel grill. The chef’s kitchen is adjacent to the living room and is appointed with robust granite countertops and dark wood cabinets. The refrigerator is a spacious Sub-Zero. A large guest bedroom with private balcony and full bath overlooks the property’s lush landscaping on the south side. To round-out this floor is a laundry room, half bath and plenty of storage.

The second story features two bedrooms, the dominating Master Suite and one which would be perfect for young children but would also serve nicely as an office. The Master seems to have been built around its amazing views of the water. Outside the French doors is a grand master balcony towering over the shoreline, a perfect vantage point to observe dolphins hunting on the shallow flats and their prey scattering for safety. An opulent master bath has both a large glassed-in shower as well as a whirlpool bathtub. His/hers sinks laid in plenty of counter space, a private toilet cordoned off with a pocket door and huge mirrors creates a safe environment for more than one person at a time.

West Wind brings island living to a new level. It an impressive build and is decorated with a sharp eye and skilled touch. The pool is a rare feature among Useppa Island homes and the envy of other homeowners. Make West Wind the setting for your new island lifestyle.
This home is offered for sale furnished at: $1,690,000

Sandpiper Picnic 2017

Useppa Sandpipers Sail Off For Lunch

Story by Bob Stevens

Photos by UseppaGin

Such a lovely morning.  No breeze though, so getting off the moorings on Useppa was a challenge.  Loading the lunches aboard was not so hard with no waves to contend with.  Everyone got their boat loaded up, off the moorings, and out on Pine Island Sound.  With about no wind, I was thinking about making up a giant string of towed boats, knowing that doing such a job was all but impossible, when a wisp of wind came around North Point.

Off eight boats went, along with an accumulation of powerboats along the way.  The morning turned out to be just a delightful sail to Pelican Pass, up the ICW to the east of Punta Blanca Island.

Big happenings on the way over with Jay and Ginny T. showing up on Floridian, their beautiful Grand Banks cruising boat.  She is just lovely, and stood down on the ICW to say hello to us all.

Some of us managed to wander by a pirate-looking boat, that turned out to be a ketch rigged sailboat, with two square sails on the forward mast, and a lot of built up superstructure.  Looked like “home” for the folks aboard.  She had been anchored out, west of Patricio Island, for a night or two.

Useppa powerboats stayed “on patrol” following the sailboats over to Cayo Costa, and we had absolutely nothing to do.  Nice day to volunteer.

A delightful change of pace Saturday for the Sandpipers.  Picnic on a beach with good friends, I sure enjoyed the lunch cruise, and wonder how we can do any better.